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New Jersey Top 10: State Tournaments begin in earnest this week

New Jersey Top 10 Poll

1Don Bosco Prep12411
5St. John Vianney91932
6Christian Brothers61582
7St. AugustineNR9113
8Gloucester Catholic31171
9Seton Hall PrepNR1175
10St. Joseph MontvaleNR2061

1-Don Bosco Prep (24-1-1):  The Ironmen’s hopes of an undefeated campaign and first Gordon Cup title since 2014 were dashed when they suffered a heart-breaking 2-1 overtime loss to second-ranked Delbarton last Friday. Still, Don Bosco has defeated the Green Wave in two of their three meetings this winter and are the top-seed in the upcoming NJSIAA Private state tournament.

2-Delbarton (19-6-1):  As usual, the Green Wave are elevating their game to another level come Cup and state tournament time. Delbarton trailed top-ranked Don Bosco, 1-0, in the 60th Gordon Cup final last Friday when Hunter Macy scored the equalizer before Andrew Boslund won it in overtime. It was Delbarton’s eighth Gordon Cup championship.

3-Randolph (19-1-3): Rams’ veteran coach Rich McLaughlin (414 career wins) guided his club to the Mennen Cup championship last Friday with a 4-2 victory over ?-ranked Morristown-Beard. The title was the first Mennen crown for Randolph since 2008 and fourth straight decision since a 2-1 loss to Morristown on Feb. 1.

4-Summit (20-2-2): The Hilltoppers extended their unbeaten streak to eight games (6-0-2) when they captured the McInnis Cup last Friday with an impressive all-around 3-1 triumph over Livingston. Summit will play the winner of 17-Hopewell Valley and 16-Cranford in the NJSIAA State Tournament Round of 16 on Feb. 21.

5-St. John Vianney (19-3-2): The Lancers also appear to be gearing up to make a deep state tournament run, winning five straight and eight of their last nine contests – the lone loss coming to No. 2 Delbarton in the stretch. Vianney captured the Handchen Cup with a convincing 7-2 triumph over Middletown South on Feb. 15. The Lancers have also earned impressive wins this winter over St. Augustine, CBA and St. Joseph of Montvale.

6- Christian Brothers (15-8-2): The Colts are gearing up for the state tournament after dropping a 6-3 decision to second-ranked Delbarton in the Gordon Cup semifinal on Feb. 14. CBA, 9-2-1 in its last 12 games, has received a solid season thus far from senior Dean DiFazio, who leads the club with 25 points on nine goals and 16 assists.

7-St. Augustine (9-11-3): The Hermits nearly pulled off their own big upset when they took top-ranked Don Bosco to overtime last week before falling, 5-4, in the semifinal round of the Gordon Cup and move back into the rankings this week. St. Augustine advanced in the first round of the Gordon by knocking off then-No. 3 Gloucester Catholic, 5-4, in overtime on Feb. 12.

8-Gloucester Catholic (11-7-1): The South Jersey school’s quest for its first Gordon Cup was squashed with it suffered a 5-4 overtime setback against rival St. Augustine Prep in the quarterfinal round on Feb. 12. It was the team’s second straight loss (4-1 to Malvern Prep of Pa.) after putting together a four-game winning streak.

9-Seton Hall Prep (11-7-5): The Pirates, again cracking the Top 10, took sixth-ranked CBA through an overtime 2-2 tie before falling in a shootout in the quarterfinal round of the Gordon Cup on Feb. 12. Seton Hall faces a huge test on Feb. 21 when it skates against 10th-ranked St. Joseph of Montvale in the first round of the NJSIAA Private A tournament. The Pirates defeated St. Joe’s, 4-2, in a Jan. 1 regular season meeting.

10-St. Joseph of Montvale (20-6-1): The Bergen County squad comes off a notable 2-0 decision over then-No. 7 Northern Highlands on Feb. 16 in the Big North Gold Cup championship. The Green Knights are 6-1 in their last seven games, that only blemish a 3-1 defeat at the hands of fifth-ranked St. John Vianney. St. Joseph opens the NJSIAA Private tournament with a battle against No. 9 Seton Hall on Feb. 21.

Paul Bruno

Paul Bruno

Paul Bruno covered college and high school ice hockey for The Newark (NJ) Star-Ledger from 1988-2012. A 1984 graduate of Seton Hall University, he played collegiate hockey for The Hall in the Metropolitan Collegiate Hockey Conference. He also served as an intern in the New Jersey Devils public relations department during the 1983-84 season. Bruno later coached the Seton Hall University ice hockey team (1985-1987) and has covered the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils training camps as well as the ECAC ice hockey championships in Lake Placid, NY, for the Ledger. Bruno, who has been a contributing hockey writer to New Jersey Monthly Magazine, has covered hockey for Sideline Chatter for the past three seasons.
Paul Bruno
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